12/20/11 Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

"Quando a Roma vai, fa come vedrai." (When in Rome, do as the Romans do.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Sweet and Sour Sauce
  -Broccoli with Garlic and Anchovies
  -Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

"Buona sera!" 2012 will be a grand year for you and me via all our dreams and aspirations. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a much better year for you and I than 2011. Everything is pointing towards that, you know. And I hope you stick it out with me. Grazie! Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Traditional Almond Cookies

"Traditional" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

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 Recipe: Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet and Sour Sauce
Salsa Agrodolce


4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 and 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup chopped parsley
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Mix tomato paste and water in a small bowl.

Melt butter with olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat.

When butter foams, add parsley and garlic.

Saute until garlic begins to color.

Stir in flour and sugar.

Stir in vinegar and diluted tomato paste; mix until blended.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cook over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Makes one cup.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Broccoli with Garlic and Anchovies

Broccoli with Garlic and Anchovies
Broccoli in Padella con Acciughe


2 pounds broccoli
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 flat anchovy fillets, mashed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped parsley


Cut off tough bottoms from broccoli.

Using a sharp knife or potato peeler, peel outer skin.

Divide broccoli and wash thoroughly under cold running water.

Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full with salted water.

Bring water to a boil.

Add broccoli and reduce heat.

Simmer 5 to 8 minutes or until stalks are tender.

Drain on paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Stir in garlic and anchovies.

Add drained broccoli.

Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

Turn broccoli gently and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

Place broccoli on a warm platter and spoon over sauce.

Serve hot. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
Pollo e Verdure Arrosto


1 (4-pound) roasting chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs, chopped, or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crumbled
6 to 7 fresh sage leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried sage, finely crumbled
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, halved
1 pound potatoes, cut into large pieces
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 red sweet peppers, cut into large strips


Preheat oven to 425F (220C).

Put the chicken in a large roasting pan.

Coat it with olive oil and rub it inside and out with rosemary, sage and garlic.

Season with salt and black pepper.

Place one half of lemon inside the chicken cavity and squeeze the other half over chicken.

Roast 30 to 40 minutes, basting several times with the pan juices.

Add potatoes, carrots and peppers.

Bake, basting chicken occasionally, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

Chicken is done when juices from the thigh run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure:

Italian Cardinal: "Italian Are Not Having Babies"

Rome - September 1, 2010 - The head of the Italian Catholic bishops' conference said this week that Italian society is being "seriously mutilated" by its negative growth birth rate. Angelo Bagnasco, cardinal archbishop of Genoa, said at a Mass in Liguria this weekend that Italy, and Italian democracy, is facing a "serious cultural catastrophe" from its low birth rate.

The Italian birth rate has climbed slightly from an all-time low of 1.23 in 2004, which made Italy the second most infertile country in the industrialized world, to 1.32 this year. It is estimated that 25 percent of Italian women do not have children and another 25 percent will have only one child. The Italian region of Liguria in northwestern Italy now has the highest ratio of elderly to youth in the world and has closed ten percent of its schools since 2000.

The Catholic Church asserts, Bagnasco said, that "demographic balance is not only necessary for the physical survival of a community, which without children has no future, but is also a condition for that alliance between generations that is essential for a normal democratic dialectic."

"It is not only parents that, having children, must change their points of view and styles, they must plan and organize themselves in relation to the children in their various ages."

"A society without babies and children," he continued, "just as a society without the elderly, is seriously mutilated and unable to function."

While government officials are attempting, largely unsuccessfully, to shore up the birth rate with cash payouts, Cardinal Bagnasco looked into the deeper cause of the crisis, saying that falling birthrates are linked to a massive shift in cultural values.

Holding up the Holy Family, Mary, Joseph and Jesus, in the context of life in the small village of Nazareth as the ideal model, Bagnasco said, "In the cultural climate of today, couples and families seem to collapse before the blows of life and of relationships."

"The efforts of every day seem tedious and without meaning, hence unbearable," he said. "The future loses value and polish, the present is emphasized for what it promises of immediate satisfaction."

In the current materialistic context, he said, "fidelity is understood as something repetitive, tedious, deprived of thrills."

While visitors to Italy who bring small children attest that Italians still love children, they are not having their own. Contraceptive use, in this still overwhelmingly Catholic country, is considered routine and some have cited the fulfillment of the demands of the consumerist mentality, that requires that women go out to work, as the reason for the disappearance of the traditional large Italian family.

A 2004 survey by Letizia Mencarini, a professor of statistics at the University of Florence, found that women who work outside the home, and receive little help from their husbands with household chores and childcare, are more reluctant to have a second child. The women, she concluded, cannot face the "dual burden" of going out to work and looking after an extra child.

"Cacchio", we would like to thank the Bishop for all the sunshine blown our way.

Look, Italy’s birth rate is pathetic and it's going to take more than the Bishop's religious rituals to fix it. Our birth rate is 1.33 children per woman.

Don't get us wrong. We love children. We spoil the little critters, dress them up like funny little princes and princesses, over-educate them, and let them stay at home until they're about 32 (give or take 10 years). So, what the hell went wrong?

The problem is there's no state support for Italian women who want to work. Therefore, family policy needs to be designed to support fertility and women's other aspirations. Try doing that in Italy. We break out in a rash when we sense any kind of interference by the state in our family lives. Some of us can still remember the family laws that bald screwball, Mussolini, designed to produce little "Figli del Lupa" (sons of the she-wolf). They were the junior fascist boys brigade. cute. "Cacchio", nothing like have little fascists dressed in black, terrorizing the neighborhood cats and Jews.

Italian women can receive generous maternity leave, but they don't care for it. We have shown that fertility rates are often governed by much more complex cultural and social factors. In Italy, culture rules over policy.

"Another child? Che palle, one is enough. I have my vacations and social friends to consider. Besides, I've been married to that cornuto for 6 years but it feels like 15!"

"Oh, mamma mia, nothing like going home to the same person everyday for the rest of my life!"

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